Track renewals taking place at Botley

Network Rail postpones Dorset engineering works

Plans to carry out engineering work on Great Western Railway’s route to Weymouth have been postponed by Network Rail to avoid disruption to passengers.

Track renewals were originally planned to take place on the line between Yeovil and Weymouth between May 29-31 May, over the late May bank holiday.

Now, the works which were due to take place at Chetnole are to instead be re-planned for later in the year, with Network Rail keen to avoid disruption for passengers seeking to take advantage of loosening lockdown restrictions and travel to the Dorset coast.

Maintenance of the line to Weymouth is managed by Network Rail’s Wessex Route.

Route Director Mark Killick said: “This spring has featured some dreadful weather so far but with lockdown easing and the sun due on the horizon soon, everyone’s long overdue some good times.

“Traditionally we’ve done work like this at weekends and Bank Holidays as the railway used to be quieter at those times, but the world has changed and we are changing with it.

“We’ve worked with GWR to get this line back open for passengers as it’s absolutely the right thing to do. Safety is still out priority though, and although we can safely put it back for now, we do still need to do this track work.

“We’re now working on getting the job done in a quieter time of year for this line and we’ll be letting everyone know when that is.”

GWR’s Station Manager for Westbury, Wilts and Dorset James Wilcox added: “We are very grateful to Network Rail in agreeing to re-schedule these works.

“Supporting the communities who we serve, we have listened to users of the line, and it is fantastic that we will be able to continue to operate our seaside special trains this coming Bank Holiday weekend.”

Network Rail have confirmed that other engineering work on its Wessex route will be going ahead over the bank holiday period as planned, with potential disruptions to services including between Salisbury and Gillingham/Westbury, and around Leatherhead and Aldershot.

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